Aatxe Brings Basque Country Cuisine to San Francisco on April 17, 2015

Chef Ryan Pollnow highlights regional Spanish cuisine and tapas culture in a communal atmosphere

Chef Ryan Pollnow highlights regional Spanish cuisine and tapas culture in a communal atmosphere

Chef Ryan Pollnow, partner of Ne Timeas Restaurant Group, will open his first project, Aatxe (pronounced aah-CHAY) in partnership with The Bon Vivantson April 17, 2015. Located on the street level of The Swedish American Hall in San Francisco’s Upper Market neighborhood, Aatxe is a restaurant and bar that celebrates regional Spanish cuisine and culture with an influence from the Basque Country.

“Aatxe was born out of my experiences living and cooking in Spain early in my career,” says Chef Ryan Pollnow. “Though I originally traveled to Spain to learn about the upscale fine-dining scene, I immediately fell in love with the casual tapas and pintxos culture. The idea of traveling from bar to bar enjoying snacks and drinks in a lively, convivial atmosphere is an essential part of the social culture there, one that I wanted to bring back to San Francisco.”

Driven by the ingredients of Northern California, Pollnow’s menu draws inspiration from the Basque tapas culture, utilizing traditional Spanish cooking techniques and presentation. Encouraging a communal style of dining, the menu encompasses everything from traditional pinxtos and small plates to large cazuelas. In addition to sourcing local ingredients, Pollnow has stocked Aatxe’s kitchen with his favorite products from Spain and has implemented an in-house conserva program using Pacific seafood, local vegetables and foraged products. Opening menu highlights include Octopus with kohlrabi, avocado and salsa verde; Mussels Escabeche; and Morcilla chickpeas with braised pork cheek, snap peas and pine nuts.

To complement the cuisine, Aatxe showcases grower-producer wines exclusively from Spain. In addition to the wine offerings, Pollnow partnered with award-winning cocktail and hospitality consulting group, The Bon Vivants, to develop a cocktail menu that celebrates the country’s drinking traditions and flavors. Guests can enjoy aperitifs and contemporary cocktails served individually or in a carafe to be enjoyed amongst a group. Paying tribute to the national drink of Spain, Aatxe also offers a wide selection of gins and interesting tonics as well as a house-made gin and tonic on tap that will change seasonally. Opening menu highlights include cocktails such as the Pedro Romero with gin, sherry, red bell pepper cordial, almond bitters and the Zuzi with brandy, cava, seville orange and rosemary scented sugar.

Aatxe is open Sunday-Thursday 5:30-11 p.m. at 2174 Market Street, and Friday and Saturday 5:30 p.m.-midnight, with food and drink served until closing. For more information and news on Aatxe, please visit http://www.aatxesf.com/; follow on Twitter @AatxeSF, Instagram @AatxeSF, and Facebook at www.facebook.com/AatxeSF.